Leaders of the Chadwick Clubhouse in Roseburg have a message for people looking to reclaim their lives from mental illness: Friendship, training, housing, education and other services can help save the lives of those with mental illnesses.

Nobody knows that better than Deanna Watson. As the board member for the clubhouse and the local chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness, Watson said her son, who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, had nothing like the clubhouse available to him where he lived.

“It’s so valuable, if I had known about the clubhouse then and been able to hook him up with one where he lived, I think he might not have gone off his meds,” Watson said. “So he’s back in the state hospital, and that might have been avoided.”

Watson was among those present Tuesday at an open house at the clubhouse, 437 SE Chadwick St., Roseburg. Even though its been open since November, Tuesday was a chance to show health professionals, neighbors and the general public what the clubhouse has to offer for those suffering from mental illness.

As an added bonus, leaders of the clubhouse celebrated the news of a $15,000 grant awarded to the local NAMI and the facility from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation. The money will provide a much-needed boost to the operational expenses at the clubhouse.

There are four members now, but there is room to accommodate 10 to 15 permanent members at a time. However, the board expects to have many more than that, just not at the same time.

“It’s a free service that we provide,” said Coleen Roberts, the clubhouse director. “We have one paid staff person and we also provide food for our members. They actually self-prepare the meals and plan it and clean up afterward as part of the clubhouse program.”

Michael Bettencourt, a member of the house who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has a job that allows him to work with all the members and get out to do things. He added that it’s primarily a socioeconomic program, but the goals go much further than that.

“We haven’t fully built into it yet, but we want to get into transitional employment to get people back into society and functioning as high as possible with whatever type of job placement that they need,” Bettencourt said.

Jeff Wareham, the crisis team case manager for Compass Behavioral Health, said he was all in when he heard about the clubhouse coming into the community.

“When I heard the Chadwick Clubhouse was coming on board, it’s was absolutely a great thing,” Wareham said. “It’s not just learning things, but it’s a social thing for people.”

Cindy Shirtcliff, an employee of Advantage Dental and serves on the Umpqua Health Alliance’s Community Advisory Council, said the facility can be a big asset to deal with local mental health issues.

“I think this is a great asset and resource to the community and I’m very pleased we have this,” she said.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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